Have Fun at PalmCon

Going to PalmCon? Lucky you.  I won’t get to be there this year but I’ll be with you in spirit.
Going to a convention can be an overwhelming experience. There will be a lot of people and lots to do, so I’m going to give you some advice to make the most of your experience.

1. Take a Camera
PalmCon is going to have a costume contest and the ECTO-1 from Ghostbusters and the TARDIS from Doctor Who. Also there will probably be lots of cosplayers. In other words, lots of photo worthy stuff. Let us know what the coolest thing you’ve seen was, and I’ll put it up here.

2. Talk to the Comics Creators
PalmCon has a few really cool comic guests. One of my favorite artists, Ethan Van Sciver, will be there. Ask him if Cyberfrog is never coming back. I love talking to the golden age creators, like Allen Bellman, who will be there. They have great insight on the history of comics. Last but not least, the Indy guys! PalmCon is run by Cosmic Times, a local small publisher. Inverse Press and Creature Entertainment Studios will be there and a few more. These guys put so much work into their stuff. Check them out and give their books a chance.

3. Try Something New
If you’ve never been to the costume contest, go to that. Talk to the 501st or the South Florida Brown Coats, you may find a new side to fandom that you’ll love. Try a Roleplaying Game. There will be two tabletop roleplaying games ran there, DCC and Necessary Evil. They’re simple to learn, lots of fun and ran by two good guys I know.

But no matter what you do, just have fun and let me know how it went.


Wonder Woman in the new DCU

Jwwosh mentioned Wonder Woman in his Great Summer Reads post. And it really is a good book, so I thought it deserved it’s own post. I’ll probably do this for a couple other books he listed because he did make some really good recommendations.

Now I feel Wonder Woman deserves special mention because, well, I’ve never been a fan of Wonder Woman.

She’s a character with an interesting beginning, but DC has always had a hard time making her a standout character. I could give you a whole list of reasons why I’m not generally a Wonder Woman fan, but that would be mean so I’ll just give you one. Anytime someone mentions Wonder Woman I always here the old TV show theme song with it’s high pitched “Wonder Womaaan.”

How could I read a comic with that repeating through my head the whole time?

But DC had this big event called the New 52, where they restarted the entire DC universe, erasing and compressing a bunch of that past history.

Brian Azzarello’s Wonder Woman Volume One: Blood is this new universe take. So, I decided to give it a try.

Brian Azzarello was a really daring choice to write Wonder Woman. Azzarello is better known for his grittier more human stories, like the absolutely wonderful 100 bullets and the extremely creepy Joker. So how is Azzarello really grounded writing style going to work for super heroics? Surprisingly well to be honest.

One of the common traits of Greek Myths is  the human failings of the greek gods. This story plays wonderfully with those tropes basing the story off yet another one of Zeus’ bastard children.

Wonder Woman protecting Zoe.

Wonder Woman protecting Zoe.

In this story Wonder Woman finds herself protecting a young woman impregnated by Zeus from his vengeful wife Hera.

But Wonder Woman is about to find out her own dubious parentage, a secret her mother Hippolyta has kept from her for years.

To go with Azzarello’s unique voice, Cliff Chiang provides wonderful unique artwork.

greek gods

1. Zeus, Hera, Poseidon
2. Hermes, Hades, Discord
3. Demeter, Ares, Apollo
4. Artemis, Eros, Hephaestus

If you’re big on DC continuity, you may be annoyed at the massive re-imagining of the greek gods. Ares is no longer clad in Black Plated Armor. But I’ll forgive it because he really makes all of the characters look powerful and otherworldly, while making them look like real individuals.

The action scenes are terse and brutal looking and the down time scenes are expressive and moving.

Great story, beautiful artwork, realistic characters. It’s everything I want in a graphic novel and it’s only the first collection.

If Wonder Woman ever makes to film, I can easily see this story being the basis for it.

This book is easily the one of the best books of DC’s new 52 and absolutely a great read for old and new readers alike.

I really can’t say enough except you have to read this story. And I’m almost certain you’ll want to follow up with  Wonder Woman Volume 2: Guts.

And pretty soon we should be getting Volume 3: Iron in, as well.

So, give it a read and let me know what you think. And as always, if you come by the Lantana Road Branch, say hello. I love meeting other comic readers.

The Wolverine is in Theaters this Weekend!!

So, it’s time to go back and rewatch all of the X-men Films.

In the meantime, I thought I’d recommend a few of my favorite Wolverine stories.

First up is The original Wolverine four issue mini series. From what I understand, this mini was supposed to be one of the main influences of the new film. And, at least on the surface, it seems to be. Wolverine versus a bunch of ninjas for the woman he loves.

Wolverine was a character created with little more than a cool looking costume and a mysterious background. This was one of the first stories to really try and fill in that background and make him more than just a bad attitude and claws.

  One of my favorite Wolverine stories is Old Man Logan. In a post-apocalyptic, dystopic future United States, Wolverine must drive cross country in the Spider-buggy with a blind Hawkeye for a sidekick.

A truly over the top action story, Logan has to deal with the Inbred Hulk family, Venom as a t-rex and a truly evil President Captain America.

There’s simply no other comic like it.

Finally, Wolverine and the X-men. This brings Wolverine up to how he is now in the comic books. This is a bit mired in continuity so allow me to get you up to speed.

Prior to this book, Cyclops has pretty much given up on Professor X’s ideal of mutants and humans coexisting. Instead of he just wants mutants to be able to live in peace. So he takes all of the mutants to a flying island and trains them to be soldiers and ready for war.

Wolverine disagrees with teaching the kids to be soldiers, instead wanting them to retain some of their innocents. So, he and a few other X-men go back to New York and start a new school: The Jean Grey School for Higher Learning. Wolverine and the X-men is the story of that school and those students.

This is an excellent collection with great artwork; interesting, unique characters; and a truly fun story.  This is a Wolverine that has grown far from the berserker he was in that first four issue mini and shows how much he has evolved as a character.

So after the theater, stop by your local library and check out some of the history, and future, of Wolverine.

Then come back and let me know what you thought of it. And if you’ve already read these, what’s your favorite Wolverine story? I’m sure I’ve missed a couple good ones.

Image If you’re anywhere in your mid 30s or younger, you’re probably familiar with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,  whether it’s from the 80s cartoon series, the live action films, the other cartoon series or even their other new cartoon series.

What you may not know is that before any of these on screen performances, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was a comic book. A comic book that has been almost continuously published since 1984.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Ultimate Collection Vol. 1 is a hardcover collection published in 2012 by IDW that takes you all the way back to 1984 to show you the first 8 issues of the comic ever published. (Well, 7 issues and a Raphael spotlight “Micro-series”)

Did you know that the Ninja Turtles were originally a parody of Daredevil? Daredevil fights the Hand, the Turtles fight the Foot. Did you know Shredder died in his very first appearance? Between the issues, there are annotations by the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Creators Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird revealing these little tidbits and even more insight into the creation of the four green heroes.

Because this was written in 1984, some of the story will seem dated and the artwork is in black and white, which may be a turn off for some readers. But if you want a good story and some interesting background in the turtles and independently published comics, this beautiful collection is a must read.

Read it now before the new Michael Bay version shows up and changes turtles history again.

When you’re done with Volume 1, you can follow up with volumes 2-4.